Chant West is an independent rating agency which analyses all aspects of the operations of industry, retail and corporate superannuation funds. It determines annual awards in various categories such as Super and Pension Fund of the year, Best Fund: Investments, Member Services, and Insurance to recognise excellence in the superannuation industry and reward winning funds for their work and innovation. Chant West Director, Warren Chant, has stated that, “Ultimately, the people who will benefit are individual fund members who will achieve better outcomes from their super.”
NGS Super was selected this year as Best Fund (Insurance) as a result of the new benefit design introduced on 1 July 2014. The other finalists in the Insurance category were: AMP Signature Super, Care Super, Catholic Super, Commonwealth Bank Group Super, Equip, Plum, REST, Telstra Super and Uni Super. It was pleasing for the Fund to receive this recognition after much thought and effort was put into the new design which will certainly benefit the Fund’s 100,000+ members.
Insurance provided through superannuation funds is a member benefit gained from the wholesale scale of the Group Life and Salary Continuance policies.
Some features of the award winning design when compared to the previous insurance policies include:
•A five year Income Protection period as a default. On advice from our actuarial consultant, an increased period of payment replacing lost salary was considered more beneficial than the previous two year default payment period. Income Protection insurance is in place for members who are unable to work in their own occupation due to illness or accident but are not permanently incapacitated from working in any occupation. The new five year benefit payment design should provide NGS Super members with greater security in times of illness and accident until such time as they are able to return to work.
•Life Cover: the new design significantly increases the quantum of payment for certain age groups and reduces the quantum for other age groups. In short the default cover for death in the under 25 age group has been significantly reduced; the default cover for ages between 25 and 55 has been greatly increased. Cover for members over age 60 to 74 has also been reduced. A 40 year old with five units of NGS Plus Standard cover would now have $550,000 of life insurance. The design takes into consideration the fact that members in the increased cover group are more likely to have taken on mortgages and/or child rearing responsibilities and this is the time that higher levels of cover are needed most.
•Disability cover: Total and Permanent Disability payments have been reduced for most age groups because the five year extended Income Protection payment period will make up for lost salary. Disability cover has now been completely separated from Death cover using a different payment table for different ages.
The new benefit scheme is strictly user pays based on age and the number of units applicable. It provides NGS Plus category for white collar workers; NGS General for workers who engage in manual labour.
The Best Fund 2015 (Insurance) award demonstrates a significant achievement and recognises innovation as NGS Super management actively pursues the best interests of Fund members. For more information visit www.ngssuper.com.au